Politics & Issues

Missouri special session
4:29 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Nixon touts economic incentives, may expand Mo. special session again

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (D)
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) is traveling around the state this week, urging Missouri lawmakers to pass numerous tax credit proposals during the upcoming special session.

Before leaving today for Kansas City, Marceline and St. Louis, he met with reporters in his State Capitol office.  He told them passing the incentives are crucial for job creation, but that the overall number of tax breaks also needs to be reined in.

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Peter Kinder / Election 2012
11:33 am
Tue August 30, 2011

Kinder to tour Mo. before deciding on gov's race

Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
(Official Photo via Office of the Lt. Governor)

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder plans to meet with residents across Missouri before deciding whether to challenge Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in next year's elections.

Although he has not officially declared his candidacy, Kinder has been preparing for months to run for governor.

But his potential campaign was dealt a setback earlier this month when Kinder acknowledged that he had repeatedly visited a strip club 17 years ago.

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MO Statehouse/Nixon on withholds
5:32 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Nixon defends withholdings from FY2012 budget

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Jay Nixon is continuing to defend a decision to withhold more than $170 million from the fiscal year 2012 budget, despite a constitutional challenge from another statewide official.

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New state laws
5:00 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Late-term abortion ban, other new laws, go into effect in Mo.

Mo. Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Most of the new laws passed by the Missouri General Assembly this year officially took effect over the weekend, on August 28.

They include the controversial ban on late-term abortions that Governor Jay Nixon (D) allowed to become law without his signature.

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MO Statehouse/Withholds lawsuit
2:53 pm
Fri August 26, 2011

Schweich sues Nixon over withholdings

State auditor Tom Schweich has filed suit over $170 million that Gov. Jay Nixon withheld from the 2012 state budget.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri auditor Tom Schweich has sued Gov. Jay Nixon over $170 million in funds the governor withheld from the 2012 budget to pay for disaster relief.

An audit released by Schweich's office last week was sharply critical of the withholds. The suit filed today is based on many of the audit's findings, including:

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Performance-based funding
9:39 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Nixon wants performance-based funding for Mo. universities

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (D).
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) wants to move Missouri’s universities and community colleges back to a performance-based funding model.

It would mark a return to the way business was once conducted.  Graduation rates and similar markers were used as a basis for funding public colleges in Missouri, but the system was dumped a decade ago during an economic recession.

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Housing Tax Credits / Joplin / Tornado
11:39 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Mo. housing panel approves tax credits for Berkeley, Joplin, those with special needs

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon gets a tour of a damaged neighborhood by Berkeley, Mo. Mayor Kyra Watson in St. Louis on April 23, 2011. A tornado hit the region on April 22 damaging or destroying over 750 homes and buildings.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 12:38 p.m. with information on tax credits for those with special needs

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

Missouri's low-income housing agency has approved $100 million in tax credits to help rebuild Joplin and the St. Louis County community of Berkeley after they were hit by tornadoes earlier this year.

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Missouri Criminal Sentencing
10:15 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Mo. sentencing project gets backing from officials

(via Flickr/neil conway)

Here's an update to a story we shared with you this morning:

Top officials from Missouri's legislative, executive and judicial branches are joining forces in an effort to revamp Missouri's criminal sentencing practices.

Missouri officials are working with the Pew Center on the States to analyze current sentencing laws, prison and probation programs and recidivism rates. Other states that have done similar studies have enacted laws directing more nonviolent offenders to enhanced probation and drug treatment programs. That generally saves prison beds for the most serious and violent offenses.

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MO Statehouse/"Facebook" law compromise
5:10 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Educators working with sponsor on fix for "Facebook" law

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

A group of educators led by the Missouri National Education Association says its confident it can strike a deal with lawmakers to settle confusion over a new state law governing how students and teachers interact using social media like Facebook.

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Disaster recovery costs
4:35 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Some Mo. senators want feds to pay 100 percent of flood damage costs

Levee breach in Atchison County, Mo., on June 13, 2011.
(Photo courtesy of Atchison Co. Emergency Management)

The federal government should pay 100 percent of the cost of flood damage in Missouri – according to some members of the Missouri Senate.   

Normally, the feds pick up the tab for disaster response and later bill the affected state government 25 percent of the cost.  State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says Missouri should not have to pay, since the floods in the Show-Me State were the federal government’s fault.

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